Skip to main content

tv   Debt Deficit Negotiations  CSPAN  July 30, 2011 11:00pm-12:00am EDT

11:00 pm
but that's not -- the gentleman will not yield. i'll make my point and be happy to be off. the issue here is really one of compromise. i come here as a freshman. somebody that's looking at this for the first time. and we came in and worked on a bill, the boehner proposal. the frustration from me was knowing going in that evening that i had already been made aware that this leadership, the leadership of the party on the other side, had ripped their members not a single member was ready on the other side to sit and talk to anyone on this aisle. the whip was there. you ll not vote. you will not tk. we were not able. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the house will be in order. the house will be in order.
11:01 pm
those in the back of the chamber will take their conversation off the floor. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: i yield 10 seconds to the gentleman from maryland, mr. van hollen. the speaker pro tempore: is recognized for 10 second. mr. van hollen: just to be very clear. what we did was eliminated the overpayments to some of the medicare advantage pns and, and -- madam speaker -- madam speaker -- the speaker pro tempore: the house is not in order. the gentleman will suspend. the gentleman is recognized. mr. van hollen: thank you, madam speaker. we used much of those savings to close the prescription drug doughnut hole. inour budget you took the hole $500 billion, but you reopened the drug doughnut hole at the same time you are eliminating the medicare guarantee.
11:02 pm
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from california. mr. dreier: madam speaker, let me yield myself five seconds to say i thank the gentleman for once again pointing to the fact there is nothing in the boehner proposal that there's anything that cuts social security or medicare. madam speaker, with th i'm happy to yield 15 seconds to a new member from zealand, michian, mr. high tsenga -- high sanga. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for 15 second. mr. huizenga: we heardrom a colleague from florida on the other side of the aisle talking about the constitution and intend of it. ladies and gentlemen, this is about controlling our spending and accountability with the american people. and it might not be in this bill. it might not be in the other bills. eventuly we have to realize we need to institutional brakes on our spending because we cannot control our spending in this institution. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: if this is about protecting social security, medicare, and medicaid, i'd like to yield two minutes to the
11:03 pm
ntleman from south carolina, mr. clyburn. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from south carolina is recognized for two minutes. mr. clyburn: thank you very much, madam speaker. i thank the gentleman for yielding. the clock is ticking. the american people are anxiously waiting for responsible leadership. and the republica here in congress are continuing to play political games. last night the united states senate rightly defeated the boehner bill on a bipartisan vote. that partisan bill was the product of the republicans' my way or the highway approach that held all americans hostage to ransom payment for medicare, medicaid, and social security beneficiaries. . now, we must find a commonsense compromise. that's why i will vote for the reid amendment today -- reid
11:04 pm
bill today. the reid bill says it will not let us default from our fiduciary obligations. throughout deliberations on the self-inflict debt crisis, my bottom line has been to protect social security, medicare and medicaid. this plan contains real spending cuts and deficit reduction to begin putting our nation's fiscal house in order. it meets the speaker's requirement that spending be cut by the amount at least as large as the debt ceiling increase. and it doeso while protecting social security, medicare and medicaid beneficiaries. it also safeguards programs that provide low-income young people the opportunity to go to
11:05 pm
college and to work to achieve the american dream. we must take responsible action now to avert this crisis and move to significant measures to create jobs and generate economic growth. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. clyburn: thank you, madam speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from california. mrdreier: madam speaker, at this time i'm happy to yield 30 seconds to the gentleman from tupelo, mississippi, mr. nunnelee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from mississippi is recognized for 30 seconds. mr. nunnelee: thank you, madam speaker. we heard from the people on the other side, we want compromise. the american people expect solutions. and this harry reid plan offers no real solutions to the out-of-control spending problem. this harry reid plan offers no solutions to the broken washington mess that got us here, i'll vote no. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from
11:06 pm
massachusetts. mr. mcgorn: madam speaker, may i inquire about the time on both sides, please? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts has 1 3/4 minus remaining. the gentleman from california has 4 1/2 minutes. mr. mcgovern: we'll reserve our time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from california. mr. dreier: madam speaker, at this time i'm happy to yield to my friend from new jersey, mr. garrett. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized for one minute. one minute. mr. garrett: and as i come to the floor, as the previous speaker said, this side of the aisle is committed to reaching a solution and not just a deal to this problem. we are committed to reaching out across the aisle and across the other side of this house to reach a compromise. we have already compromised on the level of cuts going even
11:07 pm
further. we have already compromised on the level of the caps, raising the caps to make it even easier in that regard as well. we have also already compromised from wre we started with regard to a balanced budget amendment, holding true to the idea that we should, as all americans agree, eventually pass a change in the constitution and require a balanced budget amendment to this bill. but at the end of e day, although we will compromise on cuts and we will compromise on caps and we will compromise on moving forward on a balanced budget amendment, let it be clear as god as my witness we will not compromise on our principles, our principles of defending the constitution and defeing america and making sure our prosperity does not have this excessive debt on it. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: i yield 30 seconds to the gentleman from
11:08 pm
new york, mr. engel. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is recognized for 30 seconds. mr. engel: well, thank you. here we are on the brink of economic disaster and we're wasting time with symbolic political theater at its worth. we want compromise and solutions and to protect medicare on the democratic side. why don't you try working with democrats? the american people want us to meet in the middle. they don't want this nonsense. the debate focuses only on spending cuts without closing tax loopholes and that still isn't enough for some. no wonder "the wall street journal" said no wonder they don't look like adults. the democrats want a compromise in the middle and the president needs to pull the 14th amendment -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. engel: the republicans have shown they don't want compromise at all. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. dreier: thank you very much, madam speaker. at this time i'm happy to yield 30 seconds to the gentleman from newberg, indiana, mr. bucshon. the speaker pro tempore: the
11:09 pm
gentleman from indiana is recognized for 30 second. mr. bucshon: madam speaker, here we are on the verge of a financial meltdown and my friends on the other side of the aisle are worried about politics. they're here today worried about protecting the president from having to do his job, lead. the republicans in the house are leading. we passed two bills that would end this crisis, and the senate hasn't -- they haven't put them down. th haven't voted on them. they've tabled them. we're here to lead. we need leadership. and we're providing it. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: madam speaker, our side is prepared to close so i will ask -- we'll resve our time. mr. dreier: madam speaker, we have several more speakers on our side. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. dreier: at this time i'm happy to yield 30 seconds to the gentleman from ashton, wisconsin. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from wisconsin is recognized for 30 seconds.
11:10 pm
mr. duffy: my friends across the aisle voted to rob $500 billion out of medicare for obamacare. they instituted a board that will ration care for our seniors. we brought a proposal for our house that will root out all loopholes in nooks and crannies for businesses who hide their money and they voted no. >> will the gentleman yield? mr. duffy: the american people -- will the gentleman yield? -- >> will the gentleman yield? mr. duffy: the harry reid bill is full of -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. duff: budget gimmicks which doesn't get the job done. the speaker pro tempore: who claims time? the house will be in order.
11:11 pm
the gentleman from california. mr. dreier: thank you very much, madam speaker. at this time i'm happy to yield 30 second to the gentleman from mississippi mr. pa. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. palazzo: the american people expect us to lead during times of cris. house republicans have led. house republicans have provided plans and solutions to america's debt crisis. house republicans have used their voice as representatives of their district to end the deficit crisis and to balance a budget. we've done our job. it's time a the senate does theirs. leader reid and president obama is what stands in the way of helping this debt crisis. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. palazzo: vote no on the reid plan. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentleman reserve? mr. mcgovern: i ask unanimous consent to insert in the record an article that appeared in
11:12 pm
"the wall street journal" today entitled "the debt limit hobbits." the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentleman from california. mr. dreier: madam speaker, is e gentleman prepared to close? i'm sorry. mr. mcgovern: yes. our leader is prepared to close for us. the speaker pro tempore: then i'll close on our side. i reserve the balance of my time -- mr. dreier: then i'll close on our side. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: madam speaker, i yield myself 15 seconds before i yield the remaining minute to -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for 15 seconds. mr. mcgovern: i implore rational republicans to passing the reid bill. i appeal to your sense of responsibility, to your sense of duty to your country, have the courage of your convictions to do what's right.
11:13 pm
don't be paralyzed by the threats of the tea party or other extreme groups. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. mcgovern: medicare, medicaid and social security, and i yield the balance of our time, one minute, to the gentlewoman from california, the democratic leader and the defender of medicare, medicaid and social security, nancy pelosi. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california is recognized for the time remaining. pelosi -- ms. pelosi: thank you very much, madam speaker. i recognize thereat leadership of mr. van hollen as our ranking member on the budget committee and he and mr. clyburn representing the values of the american people at the negotiating table for this. i rise in support of the reid legislation. i urge my colleagues to support it because it protects social security, medicaid and medicare
11:14 pm
, because it is fair. but i want to use my time in the following way -- i listened very carefly and very attentively to our speaker yesterday when he spoke and he used the term, "the bill is not perfect but we did our level best." our level best. one might inferrom that that this process is on the level. how can it be on the level if we're bringing a $2 trillion bill to the floor under suspension the same way we might bring the naming of a post office? $2.5 trillion, 20 minutes on each side. members have said on both sides of the aisle this is a very important debate. well, if it is why is it brought under suspension which requires a 2/3 vote guaranteeing that it will not prevail, not on the level? the word level, of course,
11:15 pm
enters into, is this on a level playing field? is it level for senior citizens while it gives big tax breaks for oil? is it level so we can give tax breaks to corporations sending jobs overseas? is it on the level for us to make children -- young people and their families pay more for their college education so we can give tax breaks to the high end? is it on the level to bring a boehner bill to the floor that makes all those cuts, undermines social security, eliminates medicare and it doesn't charge one red cent to people who have benefited so much from the greatness of our country? is it our best? is it our best to drag this out for all this time to keep in sess spence as to whether we
11:16 pm
would -- suspense as to whether we would honor our constitutional responsibility to pay our debts the constitution says the national debt has to be recognized. it has to be recognized. and recognizwe did. president after president, 3 times in -- 32 times in recent memory, including when president bush was president, at that time, even though many of us did not agree with the war in iraq, did not agree the tax cuts for the wealthiest people in our country to the tunes of hundreds of billions of dollars, not agree to the giveaway to the pharmaceutical industry, we didn't agree with that policy. that's how we got into debt. turning around from the surplus direction we were going in with president clinton whose last four budge were in balance or in surplus. we didn't agree how president bush took us into debt, but we never, never stood in the way of honoring the full faith and credit of the united states.
11:17 pm
why, then, why, then -- why, then would we this one time with this president decide that we would put up barriers so extreme, changing the constitution in order to lift the debt limit? it's a mathematical requirement. of course we must all reduce the deficit. but is it our best to say we're going to use the debate to reduce the deficit, to destroy the public's faith? look at the appropriations bills that are brought before us. destroying the public's faith of clean air, clean water, food safety, the education of our children, the health and financial security of our seniors through medicare and
11:18 pm
medicaid, that's what they are doing. this is -- we have come to those conclusions, we have to do it, we know how to do it. but if they want to take it to the next step of destroying the public sector, we cannot go to that place when it affects the air our children breathe, the water they drink, the food they eat, the education they receive, the safety of the neighborhoods in which they live. the speaker also said that the bill was not perfect. . no bill is perfect. i disagree in one respect. i think this bill is perfect in its absurdity. his bill was perfectly absurd. perfectly absurd. perfectly absurd again to say to a president after 32 times lifting the debt ceiling we are going to change the game for you, mr. president. it's perfectly absurd for them
11:19 pm
to say that the bill they ought to the floor -- the boehner bill they brought to the floor was an agreement of the four leaders of the house and senate, democrat and republican. either you don't know what you're talking about or or -- i will not yield to you. very, very important that we all take a deep breath. we have important work to do. important decision to make. senator reid has given us a direction to go. no cuts in benefits for medicare and medicaid and social security beneficiaries. i wish that we had revenues in there so that those who had been fitted from the greatness the last 50 years of bipartisan progress for the american people would be able to make their
11:20 pm
contribution, but not one read -- red cent of revenue while we are saying kids should pay more for their student loans. so it's time to end this theater of the absurd. it's time for us to get real. it's time for us to get real and listen to the wisdom of the american people. they have said to us that they support an overwhelming -- in overwhelming numbers a bipartisan balanced approach. in overwhelming numbers that we should all pay our fair share. and they all agree that we should get this over with so we can get back to work putting the american people back to work by creating jobs. the speaker chose when he didn't
11:21 pm
have the votes instead of to reach out in a bipartisan way to see how we could work together, he chose to go to the dark side. let's bring -- let me peat. and i repeat, he chose to go to the dark side. by putting forth a bill that he himself told his members would sink it in the senate and i add lead to default. lead to default. we cannot default. we are the greatest country that ever existed in the history of the world. we are the united states of america. so let's go from the dark side to the bright side of the american people. vote yes on the reid bill. thank you.
11:22 pm
the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the house will be in order. members will take their seats. members in the back of the chamber will remove their conversations. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. dreier: i yield myself the balance the time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for the balance of the time. mr. dreier: i believe in civil diourse and i want to say that
11:23 pm
on several occasions in the past 45 minutes members of my staff have urged me to have the words taken down that have been offered by members on the other side of the aisle. and i chose not to, i chose not to, madam speak, -- the speaker pro tempore: the house is not in order. the house is not in order. the gentleman is recognized. mr. dreier: madam speaker, in the name of civility i chose not to because we have a very serious issue that needs to be addressed. and it's before us and we need to make sure that in the next several hours we effectively address it. now, since 1962, sce 1962 on
11:24 pm
75 differentccasions we have seen the united states congress increase the debt ceiling. now, we keep hearing about the urgency that exists today. i'll tell you what's urgent. if we don't change the course that we have been on the last four years with an 82% increase in nondefense discretionary spending, we are not going to have resources for any of the things that my colleagues have talked about. what we need to do and the message that has been sent is that for the first time ever we are going to change business as usual. now, i'm going to say something i probably shouldn't at the very end here. there are some good things in senator reid's proposal. there are some good things in senator reid's proposal. i believe that the idea of establishing a joint select committee of our colleagues who
11:25 pm
will come together and make recommendations and force an up or down vote in both houses of congress is a positive thing. but i will say this. i don't believe, i don't believe that continuing down the road towards increasing debt ceiling without -- with the kinds of checks that are necessary is the right thing for us to do. last night's agreement that we voted on here was in fact, it stemmed from the bipartisan talks that took place right down this hall. and i will say to my colleagues, madam speaker, vote no on the
11:26 pm
>> i think today's vote indicates there is by partisan option to the proposal. the house yesterday sent our second bill to the senate. it is a reasonable, responsibly approach that will end this crisis and get our economy moving again and americans back to work. the only thing standing in the way of the house proposal over the senate is the president and senator reid. it's time for them to tell us what they are for and how they are going to get us out of the cul-de-sac they have driven our country into. we are hoping we'll hear from them soon about their plan of how we end this crisis. >> i don't want to linger long. it's worth noting you have the
11:27 pm
majority refusing to accept the vote on their own proposal. we know the reid proposal will not pass the senate. it will not pass the house. my view is we ought to end that and get serious. in the category of getting serious, i've spoken with the president and vice president in the last hour. we are nowfullien dpajed with the one person in america out of the 337 billion that can sign a law. i'm confident we can get an agreement and resolve the crisis to the best interest of the american people. >> couple questions. >> yes. the chairman of the joint choef of staff is in afghanistan.
11:28 pm
he was asked whether they are going to get their checks next week. >> i think we are beth confident we'll be able to come to some agreement with the white house in this impasse. heading the way of the vote. by this time, we could have had this bipartisan agreement nextdoor. we could have had this bill flippished early between next week. there was an agreement between myself and leaders to be moved through the house. for the president, all he had to do was say yes. that bill would have moved quickly through the house and senate. we wasted a week we didn't need to waste. we've driven through the cul-de-sac and it is time for
11:29 pm
the president to decide howle handle it. >> what gives you confidence? >> in spite of our differences, we are dealing with reasonable and responsibly people that want this crisis to end as quickly as possible. i'm confident it will. let me add, our country is not going to default for the first time in history, that is not going to happen we now have a level of seriousness with the right people at the table that we needed and thought we had last weekend. we are going to get it resolved. >> you guys recognize you cannot do it on your own. it's a by partisan result. how do you plan to work together with three days left? >> we have all worked together for most of the year to try to
11:30 pm
avoid this. senator reid and mcconnell and i have an agreement last sunday. it was the president who de-railed that agreement. it's time for the president to tell us what he's for and how to outline how we get out of the cul-de-sac he's driven us into. >> could i just add -- i think we all know that if the president decides to reach an agreement with us, democrats, most of them will fall in line. he's the leader of the dem kra yik party. he needs to indicate what he will sign. we are in those discussions now. >> do you still have an agreement?
11:31 pm
we'll agree we'll be able to come to some agreement and end this crisis. thank you. announce they're ins with the president and that a bargain to raise the debt limit is in the works understan and i. mr. president, members. senate, that's not triewvment i just spent two hours with the
11:32 pm
president, the vic vice preside, and the agreement is not in a meaningful way. the republicans still refuse to negotiate in good faith. revenues off the calendar. no way we can talk about revenues. entitlements, oh, they're after entitlements -- medicare, social security. the speaker and republican leader should know that rely saying you have an agreement in front of television cameras doesn't make it so. the republican leader says he's engaged. fortunately members of his congress, at least as far as i'm concerned, are more engaged than he is. ther are meaningful talks going on with some of his members with my senators. while the republican leader is holding meaningless press conferences, his members are reaching out to me and other
11:33 pm
members, as i've just indicated. they're coming forward with thoughtful ideas to try to move the process forward. i welcome their ideas and a all members to continue these discussions. america is watching us and are demanding a result that's balanced. i say to my friend -- and he is my fend, the republican leader -- i'll come to his office, i'll go to the white house with him, ail do anything that i can do to try to move this process forward. but i say, as respectfully as i can to my friend, the senior senator from kentucky, the process has not been moved forward during this day. mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the minority leader. the republican leader. mr. mcconnell: mr. president, the fact of the matter is that the only way we're going to get an agreement before tuesday is to have an agreement with the president of the united states. the only person in america of the 307 million of us who can signomething io law.
11:34 pm
and i'm more optimistic than my friend, the majority leader. we both talked to the president today. we talked to the vice president several times. i think we've got a chance of getting there. what i think is not helpful i the process we're going through re on the senate floor having a -- show votes over live quorums, having a reluctance on the part of the majority to have a vote on a measure they favor, which we'v we've been prepared o vote on since last night. look, we need to be in a position where all of us in the leadership can come back here and say that we think we've reached a framework of an agreement that we can recommend to our leaders and be briefing our members. and the sooner we can do thats correct the sooner we can reassure the american people that we're going to get a result on a bipartisan basis.
11:35 pm
and so that's what i'm working on. and i'm not interested in scoring any political points. i'm interested in gettingn outcome for the american people. and the only way that can be done is with the president of the united states. and we're going to continue to work on that, get this problem solved, let everybody in the country know that we're not going to default for the first time in our history. at's how i'm going to spend my time until we get that outcome, that i can come up here and recommend to my colleagues. mr. reid: mr. president? thpresiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: we are here today right now for this reason: it's spelled f-i-l-b-u-s-t-e-r. it's a filibuster. they won't allow us to have an updarn vote on our amendment. that is filibuster. by the any other term, it is a
11:36 pm
filibuster. that's why we're here. i hope that the negotiations go on. we're willing to be as fair as we can, but there has to be something that the president and vice president biden and the rest of us think is a step in the right direction. i guess talking is a stein the right direction, but that's about it. so, mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the matter that we have before us which is amendment number 589, that we have an up-or-down vote on that, no -- as we have all the time, of course. there would be no points of order and le we do here all the time. ha a vote o it right now. mr. mcconnell: mr. president, reserving the right to object, these are direct quotes from my friend, the majority leader.
11:37 pm
he says, "in the senate, it's always been the case you need 60 votes. always been the case you need 60 votes." this is the majority leader of the united states senate. for him to suggest that a matter of this magnitude in a body that requires 60 votes for almost everything is going to be done with 51 votes makes no sense at all. i object. mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the objection is heard. the majority leader. mr. reid: it is -- first of all, it is unconscionable that the republicans would filibuster legislation that would put a default on our obleses. it is unprecedented, unprecedented. since 1962 congress has raised the debt limit 74 times, including 18 times under president reagan and there was never a threat of a filibuster, and it was always by majority vote. mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the republican leader. mr. mcconnell: mr. president, i might say, i actually cut
11:38 pm
short a conversation with the vice president to come out here for this important vote on a live quorum. i'd like to get back to work so we can hopefully solve this problem and it seems to me, mr. president, it would be good idea for the majority to decide to allow the vote on the proposal they say they're in favor of. therefore, i would ask unanimous consent that the vote on the pending cloture motion occur at 6:30. mr. reid: i object. the presiding officer: objection is heard. the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: mr. president, you can put lipstick on it, a nice siewrkts even a skirt sometimes, it's still a filibuster.
11:39 pm
some of the remarks of the senate floor debate. on the tms issue that's captivated and rightfully so the attention of our country. let me start by saying that i do not enjoy or relish the role of attack dog. i never found any fun that that. i don't intend to tbhak here in the snavment i have been here for only seven months but means i haven't been here long enough to think any of the stuff that's going on is normal. i certainly don't think any of the stuff that goes on here too often is normal. the fact that i've been here seven months has served me well in that regard. washington is full of people from all over the world and all over the country that have traveled here this week to come and watch their government at work and see the monuments of
11:40 pm
the city and find themselves in the middle of this debate. it is important to remind people what we're debating because although it is an important and difficult issue, it is not hard to understand. the united states of america more or less -- these are rough numbers but accurate -- spends about $300 billion a month. it has $180 billion a month that comes to the federal government through taxes and other sources of reknew and that -- revenue and that means that the senate will come to order to meet its bills, it needs to borrow $120 billion. now, for much of the history of this country, there have been increases in the debt limit and the ability to borrow money. but what has happened over the last few years is that it's no longer a retune vote because the people who give us our credit rating are saying too much of the money you spend every month is borrowed and we want you to show us how over the next ten years you are going to borrow less as a percentage of what you spend. and so that's why, for years,
11:41 pm
where the debt limit was routine vote, it no longer can be. it is not something that was made up in some conservative think tank. but the reality that we cannot continue to borrow 40% to 41% of every penny that the government spends has brought us to this point. so you would think that seeing that, our government and our leaders here in both parties would react to that immediately and work on it. and i've heard lot of talk today about delaying votes. i would argue to you that this issue has been delayed at least for the last two and a half years. in the two years before i even came here, neither this -- this chamber neither proposed or passed a budget. it is a startling figure that for the last two years this government has operated without a budget. the presiding officer: order in the chamber, please. please continue. mr. rubio: so think about that. two years have gone by without a budget. the first tw years that the president was the president, no budgets. some people would say, well, that's because partisanship in
11:42 pm
washington. well, that's not true. in the two years before i got here, both the house and senate were controlled by members of the democratic party, which are the president's party. in fact, in this chamber for at least one of those two years 60 votes, 60 out of 100 members here caucused with the democrats. 's aas you recall, on christmas -- as you will recall, on christmas eve, they were able to pass a bill. you know how long it has been since this chamber passed a proposed a budget? that's 822 days. a lot of things have happened in the last 822 days. so then we got here in january, seven months have passed, still no budget. again, not budget passed, proposed, offered. here's our budget. still no budget. 822 days and every single day that i've been here. now, in the last seven days on
11:43 pm
this debt debate, we have finally seen a proposal from the esteemed senator from nevada, the majority leader. you would think, has he brought it to the floor to vote in not until last night. so, again, offered a proposal over the weekend and still for six days we sat around and what did we do around here? nothing. it was never brought to a vote. you would think these issues would have been worked on in january, february, march -- nothing. this chamber has done nothing. you talk about delay tactics? they've been thraig for two and a half years -- they've been dislaig for two and a half years. the president doesn't have the luxury of some of these things. he has to propose a budget by law, and i d let me tell you how ridiculous the budget was. not a single member of this senate voted for it, including the democrats. it is a budget that didn't lead to the debt limit. it increased the debt. that's how absurd it was. where is the president plan? we haven't seen it. we haven't seen t here's the president's plan, a blank sheet of paimplet he doesn't have a
11:44 pm
plan. he hasn't offered a plan. again, if this were a republican president, i would say the same thing. i do not understand how an issue of this magnitude, of generational importance, the president of the united states has not offered a plan. if someone has seen the president's plan, please send to to me because no one else has seen it. it does not exist. so this has been the plan all along, by the way. the plan all along was not to take a position, to let the days count down until we got to this point with 72 hours to go and then force a vote on something that they wanted. i believe that that has been the plan the entire time. and you can see it carrying itself out. you want to know why people all across america get grossed out about politics? it is by wasmg this kind of thing happen. for today and for much of this time i have seen all these attacks and name-calling. if we had $1 billion for every time i hear the word "tea party
11:45 pm
extremist," we could solve this debt problem. so all this name-calling -- lelt me read some quotes about this debt limit and i found some pretty extremist quotes. here's one. it says, "the fact that we are here today to debate raising america's debt limit is a sign of leadership's failure. america has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. americans deserve better. i, therefore, intend to oppose ththe to increase america's debt limit." a quhoat from a tea party extremist, right? no. this is a quote from march 16 of 2006 from senator barack obama of illinois. i found another extremist quote. this one says, "because this mass of accumulation of debt was predicted, because it was foreseeable, because it was unnecessary, because it was the result of willful and reckless disregard for the warnings that were given and for the fundamentals of economic management, i am voting against a debt limit increase. well, that must be from a tea party extremist member of the house, right? no. this is march 16, 2006, from senator joe biden of delaware.
11:46 pm
last but not least, here's a quote from september 27 of 2007. it sayings, "i find it distaste l and disturbing to increase the debt limit yet again. clearly we need to change course and this debt limit bill is just another reminder of that." and that is from the distinguished senator from nevada, the majority leader. on that date in 2007. and yet now these same quotes in this context, what we're talking about raising the debt limit more than has ever been raised in one vote, is extremism in this name-calling is be a sudden and sets this process back. the other thing i hear -- oh, it is not reasonable. this is a waste of time. this bill can't pass the senate when they talk about the house bill. so now it disqualifies the bill the fact that it can't pass the senate. well, guess what? the senate bill can't pass in the senate. the senate bill can't pass in the senate. mr. rockefeller: will the senator yield fao a question? mr. rubio: i'll yield. mr. kerry: i thank the senator for doing that. that's become somewhat unusual
11:47 pm
in the senate today. i truly appreciate it. i would ask the senator, as ironic as it may be that on occasion people in the past have indeed voted against a debt limit -- both republicans and democrats alike -- is it not true that in those situations those votes did not hold the nation hostage, did not come at a moment of enormous economic fragility as we are in today, and did not run the risk of default because it was going to pass overwhelmingly every time? is that not true? mr. rubio: to the senator from massachusetts, i would say two things. the first is that those votes -- put it to you this way. if the senator from illinois, senator obama, had had his way, we'd be in the same position that we are in now. i recognize the president has now said that the debt limit is -- he made a mistake and he wouldn't have said that were he here today. my point, i would say to the senator from massachusetts, is that rhetoric two years ago was not considered extremist
11:48 pm
rhetoric and now that rhetoric, which by the way i have not found. i think it is a milgt. there may be a handful of building both in the house and senate perhaps that believe that the nation doesn't have to raise the debt limit. but by and large everyone recognizes that something must be done about the debt limit. what we have also said -- i speak for myself. let me not speak for any other member of this chamber or the next. what i have also said is that it would be a terrible mistake to lose this opportunity to do something meaningful about the debt. and that the debt limit gives us an opportunity to do something meaningful about the debt, because the crisis that america faces is not one that i have defined. but one that has been defined by the rating houses and rating agencies who have said if you do not get your spending in order, we don't care whj you raise your debt limit or not, we will downgrade you. that means an increase in every american's interest payments. mr. kerry: will the senator further yield? mr. rubio: yes. mr. kerry: i would just say first of all that everybody
11:49 pm
understands the danger of the rating agencies right now. the problem is, we got to reach across the aisle and negotiate. we've got to come to agreement. right now there's not a lot of negotiating going on. i would ask the senator, if he doesn't agree that there is an enormous difference between -- the senator a moment ago said if he had gotten his way. the whole point is, everybody knew he wasn't about to get his way. that was a truly symbolic vote. today, however, is it not true we are on the brink of a default and the absence of negotiation or the absence of a settlement presents us with a far more serious consequence to the unwillingness to raise the debt ceiling today? mr. rubio: to the senator from massachusetts i would say it's impossible to negotiate with someone who doesn't offer a plan. the finger pointing of who has a plan and who doesn't have a plan
11:50 pm
is relevant but it's not the central issue here. by also say in march of this year, march 30 of this year, i wrote an op-ed piece in "the wall street journal" and outlined the things i was looking for to be a part of this debate and i was told on march of this year that we didn't have enough time to do all those things, although later on we found out perhaps we did, this grand bargain and i am prepared, as i stand here today, if there is a meeting after this, i'd love to be a part of it. i would love to discuss the things we need to do not just to raise the debt limit. raising the debt limit is the easiest thing. that's one vote away. the hard thing is to show the world we are serious about putting our spending in order so we can show people we'll able to pay our bills down the road. and that is a combination of things that i have outlined very clearly, not just on march of this year in "the wall street journal," but in repeated speeches on this floor. and those are the things, we need to do two things. number one is we need to grow our economy because while the debt is the biggest issue in washington, jobs are the biggest issue facing america.
11:51 pm
and if we could get more people back to work, we would have more people paying taxes, and if we had more people paying taxes, we'd have more revenue for government. sos that the first thing we need to do is figure out how to create jobs in america and i think there is bipartisan agreement on things we dan do to do that. the president himself mentioned regulatory reform as a necessity in the state of the union. let's do it. we've all talked about tax reform. and if there are things in that tax code that do not belong there because they are the process of good lobbying instead of good policy, let's go after those things. let's talk about that. i think we all agree that there has to be some changes in discretionary spending but we also agree that doesn't solve the problem. that's a small piece of our overall budget that we have to save medicare because it goes bankrupt if we leave it the way it is. that we have to save medicaid because it goes bankrupt if we leave it the way it is. i can tell you that history will back up what i'm about to say and that is that there is no government run by conservatives, republicans, put whoever you want there, if
11:52 pm
you give government the opportunity to spend more money than it has, it will do it. it will do it every time. that's why i believe there are at least 20 members of the senate in the other party who have supported some version of the balanced budget amendment and yes it's something we cannot even get a vote on much less discuss in the senate. i believe there can be compromise on those outlines but here's the last thing i would say. my time is about to expire so let me close with this. compromise is fantastic. i would love nothing more than to leave this building tomorrow night having said the republic still works. i was able to stand shoulder to shoulder with people from states far from mine with views different from mine but who love their country so much we were able to come together and save it when it faced this catastrophe. i would love nothing more than compromise. but i would say to you that compromise, that's not a solution is a waste of time. if my house was on fire, i can't compromise about which part of the house i'm going to save.
11:53 pm
you save the whole house or it will all burn down. we either save this country or we do not. and to save it, we must seeky r. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. paul: the president has refused to take off the table the fact that we would gault dwawlt on our debt. that's irresponsibility and without a doubt the president should come forth and say he will pay the interest on the debt. on our side we've been willing to compromise all along. we've been offering plans. we passed two plans in the house. now we have a plan before us, a democrat plan to raise the debt ceiling, and there are some of us who would vote for this democrat plan who might require some amendments or some compromise, it would have to be some inputrom our side. and yet even though this bill was introduced yesterday and republicans said they would vote for it, the democrats are now
11:54 pm
filibustering their own bill. what's funny, they filibuster their own bill and then point fingers and say we're ting to stop things. we're here today to try to move things forward and so in the spirit of trying to reach a compromise before the deadline comes, i would ask unanimous consent that the vote on the pending cloture motion occur immediately or as soon as possible 5:00 p.m. today. the presiding officer: the gentlemanfrom illinois. mr. durbin: reserving the right to object. under the filibuster rules of the senate, there is a requirement of 60 votes for cloture. we have said that we are prepared to move to a timely vote on this pending amendment, a majority vote, the same as the vote that speaker boehner had in the house, and i would object unless the senator from kentucky wants to amend his unanimous consent request to make it clear that this will be a unanimous consent which i have spelled out here in detail if
11:55 pm
he'd like me to present it. mr. paul: reserving the right to object, would remind the senator that there is a differce between the senate and the house. ourounding fathers gave great power and leeway to the senate. we were meant to be a check and a balance against unbridled enthusiasm sometimes from one party or another, and so i would object to that motion. the presiding officer: is there objection to the original request? mr. durbin: object. the presiding officer: objection is heard. mr. paul: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that i be allowed to present an amendment. this amendment would be an amendment to the reid bill, and under this amendment what would happen is i have at least 10 republicans who will vote for the harry reid bill which would allow a compromise, which would allow the debt ceiling to rise. i know the president is worried about having campaign time. he's worried about getting back out and doing some fundraisers. he doesn't want to consider the
11:56 pm
debt ceiling again before his election or his re-election campgn. so this amendment that i would offer would allow us to move forward in a bipartisan way. all republicans are asking for is that we balance our budget gradually over a seven to eight-year period. what this amendment what do and i'm asking unanimous consent to present is an amendment that says we will raise the debt ceiling contingent upon badge of a balanced budget amendment. by ask unanimous consent that i be allowed to present this amendment to the reid bill. the presiding officer: is there objection? mr. durbin: mr. president, i object. the presiding officer: objection is heard. mr. paul: see, what i think this illustrates is that, you know, compromise, everybody says the pundits say that compromise is the mark of an enlightened person. we're trying to compromise. i just offered to pass the leader's bill. i've offered to work with him. i'm from the tea party. they say we won't compromise?
11:57 pm
i'm willing to raise the debt ceiling. in fact, we worked on a motion that got more votes than any other motion that's bee set forward and that was cut, cap and balance that would have required a balanced budget amendment to be passed, but would have raised the debt ceiling. what do we hear from the other side? intransigence. who is refusing to compromise? sounds to me like the other side is refusing to compromise. i have with me my distinguished colleague from utah. i'd like to hear his thoughts on where t fault lies and where we could come to if we were to compromise to try to find an agreement. mr. lee: mr. president, a number of us, myself included, have been arguing since january, ever since we arrived here and were sworn in in this very room, that the national debt is a permant problem. the almost $15 trillion that we now owe as a nation is permanent. it's going to take a long time to pay off. there are people who are not yet old enough to vote, there are
11:58 pm
people who will be born in a few years who are not even here who will one day have to assist in paying off that debt. now, the fact that this is a long-term problem means that it requires a long-term solution. that's why we've been saying all along that we ought not to raise the debt limit again. extending our national debt by another $2.5 trillion more or less, without a permanent solution in place. herein lies the problem. it's difficult or impossible for one congress to come up with a setf budget numbers that will necessarily bind future congresses. we can come up with a plan to cut $2 trillion or $3 trillion over a 10 or 1ye period but if future congresses don't want to go along with that they can find a way out of that. this has happened again as we've seen with gram-rudman-hobblings, with the pay-go rules. congress is a living, breathing waiver unto itself. we need a permanent solution and
11:59 pm
this is why we settled on the need for a balanced budget amendment. as my distinguhed colleague, the junior senator from kentucky has just pointed out, there is no intransigence in our position. those of us who identify with the republican party, those of us who it -- who identify with the tea party, we were sent here with a mandate by the voter, a mandate that says the federal government is too big and too expensive. now, resistance to this message from the other side of the aisle as vehement as that resistance may be, is not genuine if what it says is that this instance, insistence for a balanced budget amendment is itself reflective of an unwillingness to compromise. there are myriad opportunities to compromiseithin that general framework. we've offered that. we've extended that. republicans have now submitted no fewer than two bills that have passed the house of representatives todd

139 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on